Ask Ping!

April 11, 2007 7:20pm | by:

Racer X,
 Hi, I am interested in buying a neck brace before I go riding next.  When I was a young kid and received my first bike as a X-mas gift, my father took me to the local dealership for my b-day and said, "Pick out some gear, I'd rather pay this bill than a hospital bill any day."  So…  Since this product is out and its necessity is obvious, that’s the stance I believe in and taking.  With that being said, I was hoping you could shine some light on this controversy for me.  Looking at the Leatt-Braces, there are obvious features that make it different that the ones that look like a circular piece of foam.  But is there that much of a difference between the two types?  Does the neck brace that Millsaps wears provide less protection or even any protection?  Do you know of any companies that are going to make a very similar product soon and at a lesser price?  If so, when?  Obviously, I will be buying a neck brace, probably the Leatt, but I'm hoping the price comes down.   Any advice and information will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you
Aaron Keene

Kevin Windham uses the Leatt-Brace

Dear Aaron,
Right now, the Leatt-Brace is the only game in town, in my opinion. And from what I hear it is a good piece of protective equipment. The foam donuts do offer some protection to your collarbone if your helmet presses into it, but I’m not sure what it does for neck trauma. There are other companies working on a neck brace, though I can’t say who they are or when their product will be released—this is a difficult product to make in the litigious society we live in today and I’m sure other companies want to get it right before they release their model. That said, you should lift your cheap ass up off of your wallet and buy one of those braces for the time being. Can you really put a price on preventing a neck injury? Remember what your Pappy told you in that dirt bike store? I know you’ll do the right thing.


What exactly is a factory rider? For example, Chad Reed is not on factory Yamaha anymore and he definitely is not a privateer. Also Kevin Windham is on the Sobe/Samsung Honda team would he be considered a factory rider? If he's considered a factory rider why is Travis Preston in the running for the top "privateer" award? Please enlighten me on this.

SoBe No Fear/Samsung Mobile Honda's Travis Preston a privateer? Ping disagrees.

Dear Mike,
The terms factory rider and privateer used to be pretty cut-and-dry, back when only a handful of guys had full rides with works bikes and everyone else was riding pogo-sticks on wheels and eating bologna sandwiches out of the back of their Datsun pickup trucks. Those were truly the good ol’ days. Of course I wasn’t racing back then but I had a sweet BMX bike, all the Cap’n Crunch I could eat and absolutely zero responsibilities. Today, things are different. Andrew Short is a factory Honda rider but his bike isn’t any different than Kevin Windham’s. And that is how the AMA is defining it now: If you get factory parts that the general consumer can’t buy than you are not eligible for the privateer bonuses. So, Travis Preston turned down the works parts so that he could cash in on some of that sweet privateer moo-la. But, in my eyes, Travis is not a privateer, no offense to Travis. All of his expenses are paid and he is getting a salary from his race team. A true privateer is a guy that pays for everything himself and washes his own bike in between motos while his girlfriend hoses out his nasty, sweat-soaked helmet liner. But that is impossible to define in a rulebook. Then there are guys like Nick Wey and Ryan Clark who create their own team, falling somewhere in the middle. Just because they got creative and put a team together that includes a semi, mechanics and a cooler full of beverages doesn’t mean they aren’t privateers.
     Where do we draw the line? I say that every rider has to supply his previous year’s tax information and anyone making six figures or more doesn’t qualify as a privateer. Let’s get the cash back in the hands of the guys that really need it.


Racer X,
Thanks for posting my ataboy for ping at the worcs race but I’ve got a bone to pick with that little egomaniac. i don’t mind him picking on me for my spelling screw ups, i’m a 6’ 4’’ 280-lbs sheet-rocker and haven’t found a real need for proper grammar in my line of employment, but him calling me “a sweetheart.” well buddy, that’s crossing the line. good thing he lives in the land of fruits and nuts and not district six territory, lol 

Dear Vern,
Holy geez, sir, you have to believe that I would never say anything to upset of man of your size and weight. I can’t even lift a full panel of sheetrock let alone defend myself against a guy that throws it around all day. I’m not sure where district six is but I’m scared to death of it now and I probably won’t be racing in that region any time soon. In closing I would like to tell you that aside from your blatant disregard for capital letters this submission was head and shoulders better than your last. And if you are as tall as you say that is quite an improvement.